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Cafe L'unico, Warrawong NSW

Cafe Lunico on Urbanspoon

Since this blog post, Cafe  L'unico has relocated from Fairy Meadow to Warrawong, a suburb south of Wollongong CBD.

My first introduction to Italian dolce was in a Rome piazza and then later occurred late at night on a back lane in the inner west Sydney suburb of Leichhardt. This was my first encounter with tiramisu in the form of a piece of cake. In Wollongong, the almost weekly routine in one year was with biscotti, especially almond flaked versions. (picture above) Sorbet, tartufo and gelato were alternatives to full bodied ice cream flavours from New Zealand and made me withdraw from hokey-pokey. Then came the ricotta cheesecake. I never took to chocolate mousse but could not refuse the mascarpone. So when Peter Cappetto, a neighbour, mentioned about the Cafe Lunico in nearby Fairy Meadow and that their pastries, biscuits and cake creations came from Mezzapica in Leichhardt (another hub of Italian-Australian cuisine and culture), I had to visit the cafe, not far from a string of interesting retail outlets along the Princes Highway. The banner above the cafe proclaims not offering Italian goodies but also French cakes.

The Italian term lunico, if I am not mistaken, signifies the only one, special and unique. So the Cafe Lunico does stand out in offering a variety of their specialties - Italian and French inspired sweet stuff to lighten the palate and accompany with coffee. Oh yes, I was recently told never to take latte beyond 10am in the morning, for latte has milk, and one does not take milk late in the day, especially in Rome. But as for chocolate (like tartuffi and truffle) I reckon that is an all rounder, whether throughout the year and especially better as a night cap. The nest of chocolate above from Lunico is more intense and more crunchy than most I have tried in Harberfield or Petersham in Sydney. The vanilla flavoured slice below was a huge serving, easily cut into three parts, with a very agreeable icing top.

My overall impressions on visiting the Cafe Lunico are:

Atmosphere: Village and Euro continental

Location: Suburban

Taste: More than Satisfactory

People Engagement: Natural and gives you space

Service: Purposeful

Best Time to Visit: Morning Tea

Fav Dish Experienced: Cannoli

Would I Return?: Yes

I found the friand (images above and below) a bit dry for my taste but the flavours held their ground. The cannoli, on the other hand, is a sure winner - it melts in the mouth, the cream is sinful but there is no resistance and the skin so delightfully a contrast to hold everything together. (picture below)

Here I go again - I did not expect the melting moment biscuit (below) to be that hard, for I was waiting for crunchy and bitey sensations instead. It was a huge offering, enough for two. Once I got through the outer layers, the filling was good.

Melting Moments Cookie Recipe from Squidoo:

Ingredients:1 cup soft butter (can use half margarine, if desired, but butter is *always* better)1/2 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar1/4 tsp almond flavoring3/4 cup cornstarch1 cup white flour1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugar, add almond extract.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture gradually.

Do not over beat.

Chill dough for 1 hour.

After chilling, shape dough into small balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter.

Place on cookie sheet about two inches apart.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

After baking, remove from sheet to a cooling rack.

When the cookies are completely cool, whisk together one cup of powdered sugar with just enough *fresh* lemon juice to make a glaze.

It doesn't take much lemon juice, so add it a teaspoon at a time.

If it becomes too thin, you can add a bit of powdered sugar to thicken it back up.

Drizzle or spread the glaze over the cookies.

I love this tart frosting so I slather it on.

Next, open mouth and insert cookie. Ooh in pleasure. These have a wonderful soft texture.

Once you try one, you will understand why they are called Melting Moments!


Charmaine said…
Another great find in the Gong area. That vanilla slice looks wicked.
Kin Yuen said…
The surrounding Fairy Meadow area is gradually becoming a great day out for walking aorund - I also recommend MILK (Mothers, Infants and Little Kids); Paul's Meats (for deli stuff) and Zwyfers Cakes. Guest Park is a great place to romp or cycle around for kids and adults of all ages.

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